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CART Commons: Archival Silences Discussion - via Zoom

CART Commons: Archival Silences Discussion - via Zoom

Related LibGuide: Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) by Alix Norton

Thursday, October 8, 2020
12:00pm - 1:05pm
McHenry Library
CART Commons   Special Collections & Archives   Workshop  

What are archival silences, and how do we identify them? How does power play a role in creating archives, in deciding whose voices to highlight and whose to leave out, and in deciding how to fill in gaps in the archival record? What about the "right to be forgotten" - who has agency in these decisions? How can researchers interrogate archival silences and use them in their work?

Join fellow graduate students, librarians, and archivists to discuss these questions and the implications for archival research. We will be reading the article "Of Things Said and Unsaid: Power, Archival Silences, and Power in Silenceby Rodney G.S. Carter in advance of the meeting to help guide our conversation.


Please register via Zoom to attend.


Abstract of the article:

This article examines the dynamics of silence in archives. It argues that silences are, in part, the manifestation of the actions of the powerful in denying the marginal access to archives and that this has a significant impact on the ability of the marginal groups to form social memory and history. Archivists and researchers can read archives “against the grain” and begin to highlight these silences and give voice to the silenced. This, however, may be a difficult and contentious activity and one that should not be entered into lightly. The article then examines how silence can be a method used by the marginalized to deny the archives their records as a way to exercise their power over the powerful.

CART Commons programs are hosted by Special Collections & Archives, University Library, in collaboration with the Elisabeth Remak-Honnef Center for Archival Research and Training (CART).

CART Commons fosters a sense of community for UC Santa Cruz graduate students involved in archival research. Gatherings include hands-on archival explorations and informal presentations alongside opportunities to consider questions related to primary source research practices. Please visit the CART Commons website to learn more and join the CART Commons Mailing List.